Let’s Begin by Defining PCOS
In understanding the PCOS Diet, it is key to explore the actual definition of PCOS itself. PCOS stands for the acronym, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. It is also referred to as the Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, a hormonal endocrine disorder that is very common in women. The first diagnosis of PCOS was approximately 75 years ago. PCOS symptoms can be deceptive due to the fact that the symptoms are not always initially linked to the disorder.
Typically, it takes a series of tests before doctors can arrive at the conclusion that one has the disorder. Nevertheless, it is best to discover the disorder early since, as it progresses, it can cause other health problems to occur. Some health problems that PCOS has been linked to include, a greater risk in developing type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and insulin resistance. For these reasons, it is important to know if you have PCOS symptoms and to address them promptly.
Symptoms of PCOS
The symptoms of PCOS vary from person to person. There are some that develop a resistance to insulin. Others suffer from obesity or constant weight gain, while still, others remain very fit. Anothersign of PCOS, is multiple cysts on the ovaries in a specified pattern.
This disorder can also bring about Hirsutism, excessive hair growth on the face or other areas, with acne and male-patterned baldness, arising from an increased level of testosterone. It is this condition that can also hinder a woman’s menstrual cycle by preventing an egg to be released each month, therefore, causing irregular periods. In addition, PCOS has been linked to infertility issues in 70% of women due to the difficulty that arises in being able to ovulate.
Symptoms also include patches of skin that appear darkened, pelvic pain, a decreased sex drive, and a stress level increase. Yet, all in all, it is essential to be diagnosed early and treated accordingly, under doctor’s supervision. With these measures in place and the proper diet and exercise, you can live a quality, healthy life.
PCOS Diet Considerations
There are many things to consider in implementing the PCOS diet. First, realize that you are putting your health first, in an effort to increase your overall quality of life. With the right mindset, it is easier to make the necessary sacrifices for the most beneficial outcome in practicing a PCOS diet.
This is due to the fact that in order to apply the PCOS diet, willpower is key. Including the right foods in your diet, as well as limiting the wrong ones, can be the difference between feeling poorly and feeling great. For starters, PCOS inherently causes a rise in the level of insulin within the blood, which also contributes to the difficulty in losing weight that many suffer from. Following the proper diet will, not only make you feel great, but also assist you in losing weight. Your PCOS symptoms can improve with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
A healthy PCOS diet will aid you in lowering your insulin levels, rather than heightening them, through the foods you eat. For example, a diet low in carbohydrates is quite beneficial. This is due to the fact that carbohydrates cause the insulin level in your body to rise the most after eating.
Foods that contain the most carbohydrates include chips, cookies, bread, grains, pasta, rice, cereal, and other sugary drinks, such as fruit juices, as well as, sodas. In addition to this list, there are vegetables and fruits, such as bananas that also contain carbohydrates. Although these carbohydrates should be limited also, they are less harmful due to their natural occurrence.
The greatest thing about having to consider carbohydrates is that they are not all the same. Depending on the health and nutrient components, they can have varying effects on your insulin levels. For instance, foods that contain carbohydrates but have high levels of fiber, are ideally the best to consume because they keep your insulin level down.
When it comes to carbohydrates that are refined, or high in sugar, including white rice, white flour, and white flour, insulin levels tend to elevate rather quickly. Not to mention, these foods also have a tendency to leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied, regardless of how much you have eaten. This, in turn, is one of the causes of excessive weight, due to overeating. As often as possible, it is best to choose foods that contain high levels of nutrients and fiber rather than those that are high in sugar or carbohydrates.
Although healthy eating is necessary in the PCOS diet, it does not require you to go out and buy special foods. The foods that the PCOS diet requires are among the everyday foods that are commonly considered healthy to eat. These foods simply give you a beneficially, balanced diet of fruits, plant-based protein, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats.
Even though a variety of foods are appropriate in maintaining a PCOS diet, it is best to look at the food labels in order to make the most informed choices. The food labels contain essential information about the ingredients of the product. For example, a product may look healthy in its large print advertisement (in the front), yet, there may be high amounts of sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates contained in small print on the food labels (in the back).
Looking at the food labels becomes essential when it comes to properly implementing a PCOS diet. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you search for foods that contain grains that are high in fiber, such as, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, avocados, and a variety of beans, and fruits (such as, apples and pears).
So Let’s Ask These Questions:
- What do you hope to gain through maintaining a PCOS diet?
- Do you want to have more energy throughout the day?
- Do you want to lose the extra weight that you have gained?
- Are you finding that you have a need to urgently work on lowering your blood pressure and blood sugar?
- Are you simply seeking to gain a brighter outlook on life altogether?
Your specific needs in implementing the PCOS diet may vary but, nevertheless, they can all be met.An increased amount of energy will come with the proper diet and exercise. In following the PCOS diet, you will learn to eat foods that have low levels of sugar and carbohydrates.
The sugar found in foods inherently zaps your energy. Therefore, if you eat foods with high levels of sugar, you will naturally be left feeling sluggish, tired, and sometimes, depressed or unmotivated. For this reason, it is necessary to eat foods that are low in sugar content to avoid these negative feelings.
There are many foods that contain carbohydrates, nevertheless, the reality is that the carbohydrates they contain are often to varying degrees. For this reason, again, it is important to look at the food labels to decide whether a particular type of food is healthy to eat.
As an informed shopper, the large print labels, advertising something as “fat-free”, can no longer be automatic indications of “healthy foods”. This is due to the fact that many of the “fat-free” treats have hidden levels of high sugar content that cannot readily be detected by a first glance. Thus, it is essential to inspect the labels in an effort to be sure you are eating foods that will promote the lifestyle you want to lead.
In an effort to lose weight, it is essential to implement each of the above practices, as outlined in following the PCOS diet. Eating foods with low-sugar content will aid in keeping your blood sugar low in spite of high levels of insulin being produced by PCOS.
High sugar foods slow down the body’s productivity and, thus, add to its storage of fat. Instead of high-sugar foods, it is ideal to seek out low-sugar foods with high-fiber and other healthful nutrients. Practicing these specific ways of eating daily will allow you to reap the benefit of losing weight.
There are many aspects to consider when it comes to implementing the PCOS diet – choose the best approach to take for yourself!
Applying the PCOS Diet to Your Everyday Life
Everyone has to take a unique approach when it comes to implementing an eating lifestyle, and, therefore, the PCOS diet wouldn’t be any different.
Some will have the ability to adapt more readily to the alignment of the PCOS diet, while others may need to take more of a gradual approach. This is for two reasons. One, some people already practice or closely emulate the eating habits outlined in the PCOS diet.
For example, some already eat a diet that consists of mostly fruits and vegetables. They may only need to add an increase of fiber to their diet. In this way, it is likely that it will take less effort to for them to apply the eating practices of the PCOS diet due to their prior acquisition of similar eating habits.
On the other hand, some individuals may have eating habits that are quite to the contrary of the PCOS diet. For example, some may presently have diets that are high in sugar, as well as, carbohydrates, through eating excess amounts of pastries, such as, donuts and cake, with small to zero amounts of fruits or vegetables. In this instance, it will likely take more effort, with a gradual approach, when it comes to adapting to the eating habits of the PCOS diet.
It is not always expected to happen overnight. An individual can simply choose one aspect of the PCOS diet to implement at a time. For example, one can elect to begin by lowering their intake of carbohydrates that are high in sugar. This may simply mean eating less white bread, white rice, as well as, pastries, including cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, etc.
Next, it may also include sampling various fruits and vegetables in an effort to choose those that you find most palatable. Even though these foods may be fruits and vegetables, it is key to research with food labels or search internet engines to be sure you are aware of their levels of carbohydrates and naturally-occurring sugars.
Applying this new way of eating for some will require making a deliberate decision. This decision will require one to either commit to obtaining or maintaining optimal health despite their PCOS diagnosis. Therefore, the PCOS diet has been put in place as a guide to help you maneuver through the pitfalls of poor eating habits and to help lead you in the right direction. Ultimately, the PCOS diet exists in an effort to give you a better quality of life.
In addition to developing a lifestyle that supports healthy eating habits, it is essential to implement a regular exercise regimen. Exercise is a significant part of maintaining optimal health because it wards off harmful diseases. As mentioned before, the PCOS disorder, alone, increases the risks of having problems that include but are not limited to, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Having a consistent exercise schedule, such as brisk walking or running, will also help aid in the proper digestion of the foods that you eat. For example, carbohydrates are contained in many different foods, therefore, it is likely you will consume them at some point in your diet.
If you have a regular exercise program implemented in your daily routine, your carbohydrates will likely be used to fuel your energy rather than add to your fat or tiredness. This can be the difference between exercising and not exercising. In adapting the PCOS diet to your daily lifestyle, keep in mind the need for exercise.
The PCOS Diet in a Nutshell – a Quick Guide
|PCOS Risk Factors||Types of Foods to Avoid||Foods/Nutrients to Increase|
|High blood pressure||High-sugar content;||Fruits;|
|Type 2 Diabetes||High levels of carbohydrates;||Vegetables;|
|High cholesterol||Examples: white rice or bread;||Fiber;|